Sunday, May 18, 2008

Asking for Prayers & Advice

OK... we've probably just had the hardest three days with Claire and I'm so exhausted. Is this what they mean by terrible twos? I don't want to make excuses because I don't think they have to go through it but after today, maybe I'm convinced. I'm not sure who even reads this but if you have any advice on how to get a child to stop whining, it would be more than welcomed. We do time outs and they are really affective. We also do the ignoring tactic and we rarely, if ever, give in when she is whining for something in particular. The most frustrating thing is when she asks for something nicely, I give it to her and then she cries while saying "no"... what's that all about? As we're going through this we are also realizing that she is really growing out of a baby phase and with all the frustration I can't even feel sentimental about it!! This week she's stopped saying a lot of her baby words and now they sound so grown up. Goodbye to "wa-wa" (water), "ca" (bird), "ga-ga" (Grandma) and "ky-ky" (her cousin Kyle). Anyway, thank you for letting me vent if you got this far. I wanted to leave this post with a picture we took this evening right before bed... as soon as Neil took it he said "this doesn't even capture what we've been through" and he's right. She looks so cute doesn't she? Don't be fooled with that cheesy smile - she's probably brewing her plans for tomorrow =) Don't forget to leave your advice if you have any and we ask for prayers - patience and wisdom in raising Claire.

1 comment:

bonadamnie said...

It sounds like you've had a long weekend. I know how you feel. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and a 14 month old son. We went through a difficult stage with our daughter about a year ago shortly after our son was born. I know when you're going through the situation, it seems like it's NEVER going to end, but take heart! It will! My main advice is to BE CONSISTENT!!! Wherever you set the boundary, and whatever consequence you choose, make sure you stick with it, and don't give in just because you're fed up with dealing with it. Be the parent and you will see the fruit eventually.

Some practical suggestions that may help are:

Evaluate your situation right now. Has Claire been feeling sick or have there been any major changes in your family situation in the last month or so? Not that either of those things is an excuse for bad behavior, but it may help you discover a possible root of the problem.

Also, consider stopping everything that you're doing when the whining begins, and pray out loud with Claire right then and there. Be honest with the Lord and tell Him that you're having a hard time being patient with her, and that she's having a hard time with her attitude. Then ask God to help both of you to be obedient and for you to have wisdom to handle the situation. Then talk to Claire about what God wants her to do.

Sometimes in the past (and even now) it's been helpful to tell my daughter, "That's not the right way to respond to Mama. Can you try again?" This gives her the opportunity to think of the right response on her own, and choose to do the right thing.

Also, another main principle that I've been learning in parenting, is not to wait for negative situations to arise before you begin teaching/training. You need to initiate training and conversations about having the right attitude and being respectful to parents in moments where tension is not high. Then YOU are the one initiating the situation and your training and teaching will be more effective. Proactive is always better than reactive.

One more thing... if none of the above suggestions seem to help, you may need to consider whether or not your chosen method of punishment is strict enough to make a lasting impact on her. Remember the goal of what character traits you want to see formed in your child in place of this whining. And BE CONSISTENT! It will reap great rewards! God bless you as you seek to honor Him in raising your daughter!